Talking Is Only Part Of The Process
People are best served when they actively work with their therapist to set goals, do homework, acknowledge and dissolve defensive mechanisms, and become more conscious. The talking component of counseling is very therapeutic. Discussing, admitting or purging your most tender, sensitive, or secret thoughts is an important part of the counseling process. However, it is only part of the process.
Counseling Is Hard Work
If long-term benefits are to be sustained, new skills and tools are needed to solidify new behaviors, emotional reactions, and thought patterns. There is a reason why therapy is hard-work. Replacing old behaviors, emotional reactions and thought patterns with new ones is an active and ongoing process. There is no finish line. The process is not over at some time in the future. Many times our unproductive responses have become part of our personality. They have been reinforced for years and have become automatic. Sometimes we are not even conscious that these behaviors, reaction and thought patterns are diminishing our health, peace and happiness. It is realistic to acknowledge that changing our automatic reinforced responses will take commitment, time and energy. To make changes requires our active participation in the change process.
We can become attached to our irrational behaviors, emotions and thoughts. Subsequently our thinking becomes clouded and confused by these destructive patterns and we begin to make poor choices. When the suffering becomes unbearable, we understandably begin looking for relief from our suffering. For example, a person who is anxious may have thoughts, actions, or emotional reactions that promote and sustain their anxiety. Identifying environmental triggers which cause anxiety is very helpful. However active awareness and control of their behaviors, emotional reactions, and thought patterns will be a core component of recovery. Empowerment, to a large extent, is dependent on our desire and ability to be conscious of how we perceive, define, attach to and react to our environment.